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Netanyahu to be questioned in graft probe

Channel 2 says Israel's prime minister would be called in for questioning probably at the start of next week.


(Free Malaysia Today) JERUSALEM: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to soon be questioned by police as part of a corruption probe against him, Israeli media reported Thursday.

Channel 2 television said the premier was suspected of having received “favours” from two businessmen  an Israeli and a foreigner.

The television station said police had been investigating the case for eight to nine months, with the interrogations of around 50 people leading to a breakthrough three weeks ago.

Channel 2, which has the largest viewership in the country, said Netanyahu would be called in for questioning “probably at the start of next week”.

The prime minister’s office denied all the reports.

The justice ministry and police have declined to comment. The police however issued a statement saying it would inform the public “in due time” on the issue, while warning that media reports have included speculation.

In July, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said he had ordered a preliminary examination into an unspecified affair involving Netanyahu.

No details were given on the nature of the preliminary examination and Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

He has acknowledged receiving money from French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who was sentenced to eight years in prison over a scam amounting to 283 million euros involving the trade of carbon emissions permits and the taxes on them.

Netanyahu’s office said he had received $40,000 in contributions from Mimran in 2001, when he was not in office, as part of a fund for public activities, including appearances abroad to promote Israel.

He has also come under scrutiny over an alleged conflict of interest in the purchase of submarines from a German firm.

Media reports have alleged a conflict of interest over the role played by the Netanyahu family lawyer, David Shimron, who also acts for the Israeli agent of Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, which builds the Dolphin submarines.

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